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Australian artistic gymnast Lauren Mitchell does a layout step-out during the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in London.
A gymnast on the pommel horse at a competition.
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Gymnastics is a sport which involves running, jumping, tumbling, somersaulting, and balancing. For girls, there are four pieces of equipment that the gymnasts do tricks on: floor, bars, beam and vault. For boys, there are six pieces of equipment that the gymnasts do tricks on: floor, parallel bars, high bar, pommel horse, vault and the rings.

Gymnasts can compete with other gymnasts to see who can do their tricks are better. Usually the winner gets a trophy, ribbon, or a medal. Gymnastics is an Olympic sport.


Gymnastics began as a form of Calisthenics in early Greek times. It came about when a man jumped over a bull, and a series of competitions involving athletics is what it turned into. It involved running,climbing ropes. It was one of the first sports in the Olympics, and originally only men were allowed to do it.

When modern gymnastics came along, apparatus (floor, uneven or parellel bars, balanced beams, pommel horses rings and vaults) came into play. Women had not practiced gymnastics until later times, and they had to compete on different apparatus.

Forms of gymnastics

There are several other forms of gymnastics, including: rhythmic gymnastics, artistic gymnastics', acrobatics, trampolining and wheel gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics is the one where a gymnast performs with apparatus, acrobatics is performing balance and flips on the floor or in the air, trampolining is doing flips only on the trampoline while wheel gymnasts exercise in a large wheel known as German wheel.

In rhythmic gymnastics, which is performed mostly by women, a gymnast works with ribbons, rope, ball, hoop and clubs. When doing gymnastics, the agility, flexibility and balance are needed. Gymnastics is one of those sports where you have to be patient to learn tricks when, on the other hand, some people just naturally have it in them!

Other websites

  • FM Gymnastics- a list of Techniques and free animated comic tutorials for Floor Gymnastics.

Websites of the federations

Federation Internationale de Gymnastique